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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Location a key factor for SouthKey’s JB project

Banking on location: Southkey Properties Sdn Bhd executive director Quek Cham Hong (left) with general manager J.E. Ng looking at a model of the SouthKey mixed integrated property development project.

SOUTHKEY Properties Sdn Bhd is banking on the strategic location of its integrated mixed development project in Johor Baru as the main selling point to attract local and foreign property buyers.

The project, known as SouthKey, is located on a 134ha site on the Majidee Army Camp area and is dubbed as the “last remaining large prime development land” about 4km north of the Johor Baru city centre.

“Apart from the project's strategic location, we also see Iskandar Malaysia as another strong pulling factor to help sell the project,'' executive director Quek Cham Hong told StarBizWeek in an interview recently.

The development is surrounded by established housing estates such as Taman Sentosa, Permas Jaya, Taman Suria, Melodies Garden and Kg Melayu Majidee with a catchment population of more than 120,000 within a 3km radius.

He says the development enjoys good accessibility and connectivity to the project via three major highways Tebrau Highway and Southern Link Expressway and Eastern Dispersal Link Expressway (EDL) which will be completed next year.

Quek adds it is only a few minutes drive from the Sultan Iskandar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine complex in Bukit Chagar via EDL, which traverses the eastern portion of the site connecting to the North-South Expressway.

“A proposed light rail transit route runs along the 1.5km Jalan Bakar Batu fronting the southern boundary of the site under the Iskandar Malaysia comprehensive transportation master plan will further enhance accessibility,'' he says.

Quek adds that the project's plus point is its location within the JB City Centre Zone A- one of the five flagship development zones in Iskandar Malaysa's 2,127 sq km.

The other four zones are the Nusajaya, Eastern Gate Development, Western Gate Development and Senai-Kulai.

He says the Johor Baru property market has seen a lot changes since the inception of Iskandar Malaysia on Nov 4, 2006, with demand for high-end properties on the upward trend.

Quek says the country's first economic growth corridor is moving in the right direction, attracting domestic and foreign investments in multi sectors including property.

Figures released by the Iskandar Regional Development Authority revealed that as of last December, Iskandar Malaysia has attracted about RM69.48bil investment, surpassing the RM47bil target for 2010.

In the first quarter of the year, RM3.7bil new investments were received, bringing the total committed investments to RM73.24bil since 2006 with Iskandar Malaysia targetting RM73bil in new investments from Jan 2011 to Dec 2015.

“The influx of domestic and foreign investors and new residents to Iskandar Malaysia will have positive impact on Johor Baru's property market,'' he says.

SouthKey is Selia Pantai Sdn Bhd's maiden project in Johor Baru a joint-venture company between Teluk Zamrud Sdn Bhd and Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor Southkey Properties is a member of the Selia Group.

The project is divided into nine precincts. Work on the first phase of the project on a 35.61ha site has already started with RM2bil gross development value (GDV) and is expected to be completed within the next five to seven years.

Quek says work on the second phase on the remaining 46.94ha area will begin in 2015, when the entire Majidee Camp is expected to be relocated to its new site in Batu Pahat by 2014.

Phase one is made up of 128 units of Lakefront strata-titles shop-offices comprising of 3, 4, 5 and 8-storey blocks with prices from RM918,000 to RM15.50mil and 70% of the units already sold.

The new launch under phase one next year will see Soho units and serviced apartments, business hotel, medical centre, retail shops, showrooms, neighbourhood retail complex and a college.

“We want to position SouthKey as the business address in Johor Baru and the only way to do it is to offer product differentiation compared with our competitors,'' Quek says it plans to attract companies and businesses from other locations within Iskandar Malaysia to relocate their offices to SouthKey and also those from the Klang Valley planning to set up branch offices in Johor Baru.

By The Star

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